Posts Tagged #latinxauthors

Interview with Newbery Author Donna Barba Higuera


Interview with Newbery Author Donna Barba Higuera

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera won the Newbery award this year! I recently had the immense pleasure of speaking to the story’s author about this beautiful and powerful book.


Newbery Award Winner

Winning the Newbery

APP: Congratulations Donna !! How does it feel to win a Newbery award as a Latinx writer?


Donna Barba Higuera

DBH: How does it feel? I mean, my initial reaction was shock!  Having a story like this represented as a Newbery, where they’re looking at all books, and all cultures is huge to me. I never thought that a book like this would get noticed because it does represent my culture and kids like I was who need to see themselves in books. But I also think that a reason that it’s important to me is because kids from outside cultures can pick up a book that is not about their culture and they learn something. So I love that this book will allow some children to do that.

APP: I agree, it’s such an important book for the Latinx community but also for those outside of the community to learn something about it, including some Spanish sprinkled throughout. Can you give us a quick summary of your book for those who haven’t read it?

DBH: Basically It’s about a girl, Petra, who is leaving Earth for the last time, and has to choose something to take that is most important to her. For her that’s story. But story is threatened to be erased by people going into the future. What it means to be human, Earth’s folklore, history, and mythology are all threatened. Petra, is trying to protect that.  I hope that this book is one that kids will pick up and say, okay if I was leaving Earth for the last time, what would I do if I were Petra? What would I take with me?

Overcoming Challenges

APP: Yes, I’m sure kids will wonder what they would take with them, I know I did. Petra is an interesting character because she is very smart and capable but also has a major vulnerability. She has a serious vision challenge. Why did you decide to integrate that into her character?

DBH fam

Mother, Father, big sis and Donna

DBH: My mother had retinitis pigmentosa, it’s a degenerative eye disease, and I’m an eye doctor. But I also wanted to show that someone like Petra, or my mother, are not defined by their disease. Just because Petra had a visual dysfunction that did not deter from her journey, or what she wanted to do.

It presented a challenge at times but I wanted to show a character who lived with that like my mother did. I wanted to show kids who are reading this that they may have challenges but they can overcome them. It’s okay to have challenges, we don’t have to fix everything. Challenges are part of who we are as humans.

The Power of Stories

APP: That is so true, and also so hard to accept sometimes. It is great to see a character that has a trait that can’t be fixed and has learned to live with. Like you, Petra is a storyteller. She tells cuentos (stories) told to her by her Abuela. In a way this grandmother, Lita, is on the journey as well though she is left behind on Earth. I felt that you were telling us that we can carry our history, the people we lose, and ourselves through stories. Is that something you were trying to do?

DBH & abuela

Donna and her Abuela

DBH: Yeah, that makes me very emotional. The opening scene was absolutely me getting to say goodbye to my grandmother. The things she taught me when I was younger, it wasn’t just about cooking and culture, it was the stories she told me. Some of them were incomplete. She didn’t remember or didn’t know them fully. They had been told to her as well. She stopped going to school when she was ten or eleven years old. Much of what she knew was through the tradition of oral storytelling.

I carry the stories and the things that my grandmother taught me throughout my daily life. This story allowed me to go back and revisit that, and what my grandmother meant to me, and the gifts that she gave me. Oftentimes, it was while she was cooking, or we were working in the yard, that she would tell her stories. Everything had a story. I look back on that and I think that  storytelling isn’t always what we think of in the western way of telling stories. It isn’t always sitting down with a book, or a teacher telling a story that is very structured. A lot of storytelling in cultures happens naturally throughout life.

((Enjoying this interview? Read more from Donna Barba Higuera))

Difficult Choices

APP: That is so true, and I think that is a very common experience in many Latin American families. Our stories are part of what holds our families together. We carry our grandparents stories throughout our lives, even after we lose them. That is such an important and beautiful message in your book where the people who leave Earth have to leave so much behind. How did you decide what each person would take with them for your book, and what would you take if you had to make that choice?

DBH father and grandmother

Donna’s grandmother and father

DBH: You know, that’s such a good question. I decided I wanted to show people’s
personalities. They had a small amount of space, they could only take one or two things. I wanted to show based on people’s personalities, what they valued and what was important to them. Petra’s brother, Javier, brings his book. That was what was important to him. Petra brings a pendant from her grandmother. Her father brings a rosary. It wasn’t just about religion, he had made that rosary with his own hands, and with his daughter. He had made every single bead.

For me, it would be books. I would have to figure out a way to bring them all. I worry about getting older and losing my memory. Maybe this book is about getting older and losing your memories and my fear of losing my memories, and stories, and wanting to hold on to them. I’d be like Petra. She panicked and I would panic if I was going to lose all my stories. And of course, for Petra, the worst thing happens to her, which is probably my biggest fear. People lost their memories. What if that had been her, and she had lost her memory of love of story and the things she’s passionate about?


APP: It’s really scary to think about! And there is so much more going on in this book, it’s hard to talk about it all without giving it away. One thing I wanted to ask you about that intrigues me was the weaving of Javier’s picture book Dreamers into the narrative. How did you decide to use this book and did you talk to Yuyi Morales, the author, about using her book as an element in your story?

Dreamers PB

Award winning picture book

DBH: Another great question, I don’t think anybody’s asked me this. Originally, I started writing my book before I’d read Dreamers and had another placeholder book in that spot that didn’t quite fit the narrative of what I wanted. Then when I read Dreamers I thought, this is the book.

We had to make sure that the lines that I used were the ones I felt were most powerful for this book. You can’t just use the whole thing, we had to get permission. My editor got permission from her publisher to use those lines.  Now people  who hadn’t read Dreamers before are discovering it and finding it is so powerful and so emotional. I wanted to show things without feeling preachy, or trying to teach someone.  I’d rather have a child read and they determine what message they can get from a story on their own. I know Yuyi Morales and am a fan of her writing. This is a tribute to her wor


APP: Absolutely, I love her book, and it was definitely the perfect choice for Javier. Your book is  about adventure but also about love, family, and loss. How did you balance all of those big topics and did you worry that it would be too much for an MG audience to handle?

DBH: Yeah, I will say, I think that there are some readers where it may be too much. It’s an emotional book and it’s an emotional journey. I believe that when you have a message that may be sad or difficult to hear, you have to try and balance it with moments where you can take a breath. You need a slow scene, a family moment or humor. A moment where you can laugh and feel it’s okay again, a reset. It is difficult to write.

When I go back through revisions, I will go wow, that’s a lot! I need to dial it back a little bit. It’s a lot for middle grade and we debated moving it up to YA. The irony is that the YA audience has found it, and are reading it. Ultimately, I think it’s a book for all ages. People will get different messages from the reading at different ages. I remember when I was a kid reading Where The Red Fern Grows and just weeping. There are books like that. We need books that make us cry too.

What it means to be human

APP: Yes, often those are the books we remember the most because they have such an impact. We really care about the characters. In your book, I was very much drawn to the character of Voxy and his need for connection through cuentos. He will probably face a greater challenge than anyone as the story ends. Without giving away any spoilers, let’s talk about him for a minute.


HS Yearbook Editor

DBH: I love that character. What I wanted to show is that you can change humans in certain ways, but you can’t breed the curiosity and wonder out of a child. He’s kind of like this little trickster guy, he sneaks around to hear the stories. I wanted to show that. He was willing to take big risks so he could hear these stories. But I wanted to show his innocence too. Even though he’s part of this ‘Collective’ that seems so structured and so driven, he is a human. He has his own feelings, and emotions and curiosity. I wanted to show that.

Sibling Love

APP: I love Voxy, and how he reminds Petra of her little brother and his antics back on Earth. That sibling relationship between Petra and Javier is so meaningful. Both before and after they get on the ship. Their relationship turns into something we would never experience in the real world. I won’t delve too much into what happens between them, so as not to give it away, but how did you come up with that idea? I was completely taken by surprise.

DBH: It was in the very beginning when I was thinking of the story itself and dealing with time.  That idea came to me. I said, oh my gosh that would be the most horrific thing to happen, and then I thought I had to do it.  It was one of those things where my weird imagination was at work, probably while driving in my car. There were a few scenes that were really difficult to write, including that last scene with Javier.  That was a very hard scene to write. I think a lot of the scenes in the book relate to the separation of families and how it just feels out of control. I wanted to show the horror of what happens when families are torn apart. It came about in a way it had to be told, but it was very difficult to write.

Family Separation

Abuela and Tias

Storytellers in the family: Abuela & Tias

APP: Yes, family separation is such an important and timely topic among many Latinx families. This book feels like a story within a story within a story. I loved it. Let’s talk about the ending. We are left wondering what will happen to characters as the story ends. The final sounds we hear leave us with a feeling of hope, but without a certainty of what will happen. I’m thinking (hoping) there will be a sequel, am I right?

DBH: So, I think so. I’ve already written what happens next, we just chose not to use it in the novel. My editor was right. He said, that’s you as a writer needing closure and clarity on what happens to the characters. I do think it will come. I’m working on a different project right now but I do think there will be a sequel someday. I don’t know when. I wrote two or three more chapters, but not enough that’s formed into a book. I have different ideas of what a sequel would be. We could go in all different directions.


APP: That is so true, and I can’t wait to see where you will take this story as well as many other writing projects to come. Thank you so much for talking to me and sharing this beautiful book with all of us! And now for a giveaway! Donna has generously agreed to give away a copy of her award winning book to one lucky MUF reader. US entries only please!

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Latinx Kidlit Book Festival 2021

LKBF invite

It’s almost time for  second annual The Latinx Kidlit Book Festival, a virtual celebration of Latinx KidLit authors, illustrators, and books. The festival will open its virtual doors this year from December 9-10, 2021. There festival features two free days of panels, craft sessions and illustrator draw-offs with Latinx authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novel, comic books and poetry. The sessions are geared towards ALL schools, educators, students and book lovers, not just those identifying as Latinx.  Everyone is welcome at this virtual festival that celebrates diversity in children’s literature and brings books and ideas straight into classrooms.

I had the opportunity to talk to two of the festival’s organisers, Ismee Williams and Alex Villasante, who shared more information about the events and opportunities for kids, teachers, and readers everywhere.

Giving Back

APP: Thank you so much for sharing this festival with us. Can you tell me a little about how the Latinx Kidlit Book Festival started?

lkbf fb 2ISMEE: In 2020, we were concerned about the effects of the pandemic on students and teachers. We wanted to give back, the best way we know how. Through the power of story. The LKBF was conceived to bring authors and illustrators into classrooms of schools everywhere. Not just schools with Latinx communities. All schools. All students. From pre-K through 12th grade and beyond. There will be something for everyone. 

APP: What a great idea! I know how much I enjoyed participating in the festival last year, and sharing it with my homeschoolers. What’s new this year?

ISMEE: In early 2021, we met with members of the NCTE to brainstorm new ideas. More interactive and engaging programming was high on the list. Craft sessions to help teachers teach. More content en Español, perfect for ESL as well as Spanish foreign language classes. We also added content for teachers and for would-be writers. The Author’s Guild is sponsoring a panel for aspiring writers. From Manuscript to Marketplace: Three Publishing Journeys in Kidlit with authors, editors and agents – on Tuesday, December 7th.

On December 8th, Penguin Random House is sponsoring a special Educator Night. Lorena German and David Bowles will talk about #DisruptTexts. Join us to learn how to bring Latinx books into classrooms.

Interactive Programming

APP: What a great opportunity for teachers and everyone interested in diversifying readings for children. I’m especially interested in the interactive programming you mentioned, what exactly does that entail?virtual field trip

ALEX: We want the LKBF to be a virtual field trip for students and educators. We expanded programming to amp the fun and engagement. We have five new craft sessions. Best-selling authors will teach how-to classes on writing, perfect for students. Meg Medina (award-winning author of Merci Suarez Changes Gears) will teach how to write from your own life experiences. That session is for grades 4 – 8, perfect for middle schoolers.

We also have a craft session on creating a picture book with Emma Otheguy, Rene Colato Lainez and Juana Medina. We have one on writing poetry with Margarita Engle. Students should come to these sessions with paper and writing utensils and be ready to have fun! We’ve also got Draw Off sessions. Illustrators compete, responding to prompts submitted by the students. Kids get to see the crazy-creations they suggest come to life! These sessions are interactive and will get students (and teachers) hooked!

APP: Sounds so fun! How can educators, parents and kids get ready to get the most out of the festival?

ALEX: Teachers, librarians and parents should check out the offerings on our educator page. We have author/illustrator introduction Flipgrid videos and educator guides to help students prepare for and engage with the festival. We have mini craft video lessons, meant to act as writing prompts. And a book database to help you find the perfect book for the perfect student. And we want to hear from students directly! Submit student questions for a chance to win a classroom set of books. Ask any book-related question you want. Maybe one of our authors or illustrators will answer it LIVE during the festival!

Middle Grade Panels

APP: As a member of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, I know how important this opportunity is for educators, authors, and kids and can’t wait to attend! Can you tell us a bit about the Middle Grade books and authors you’ll be spotlighting for our MUF readers? mg panel 1

ISMEE: We have so many wonderful MG authors this year! Karla Valenti (Lotería) is moderating Middle And Marvelous: Middle Grade Characters Who Will Steal Your Heart. Karla will be joined by Laura Ojeda Melchor (MISSING OKALEE), Alex Aster (CURSE OF THE FORGOTTEN CITY), Alejandra Algorta (NEVERFORGOTTEN) and Christina Diaz Gonzalez (CONCEALED). Loriel Ryon (INTO THE TALL TALL GRASS) is moderating ¡Qué Cómicos!: Humor In Chapter Books And Middle Grade. Terry Catasús Jennings (ALL FOR ONE), Adrianna Cuevas (THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF NESTOR LOPEZ), Donna Barba Higuera (LUPE WONG WON’T DANCE/THE LAST CUENTISTA), and Nina Moreno (JOIN THE CLUB, MAGGIE DIAZ) will join Loriel. And don’t miss our opening headlining session! Books As Teachers: Stories That Build Connection, Empathy And Imagination with educatorS Torrey Maldonado (WHAT LANE?/TIGHT) and Rebecca Balcárcel (THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY/SHINE ON, LUZ VÉLIZ). mg panel 2

The More You Know

APP: Where can people go to get more information about the festival?


Want to know how best to watch the festival? Sign up for our newsletter. Links to panels will arrive directly to your inbox. The festival can be streamed live into the classroom from our YouTube channel. Students and teachers can interact with authors and illustrators via the live chat. Content will be available even after the premiere. 

Educators, don’t forget to check out our Wed night event just for you! The content will be perfect for DEI professional advancement. There will be a digital gift bag! And a certificate of attendance will be available.

APP: Wonderful! So many interesting speakers to choose from and panels to interact with! Thank you for sharing this with us and I hope that many of our readers will participate in the Latinx Kidlit Book Festival this year, I know I will!


And now for giveaways! Three of the amazing MG authors that will be featured at the Latinx Kidlit Book Festival have generously agreed to give away copies of their books to our MUF readers! There will be six lucky winners for one of the following prizes!

THE LAST CUENTISTA by Donna Barba Higuera

LUPE WONG WON’T DANCE by Donna Barba Higuera

EL CUCUY IS SCARED TOO by Donna Barba Higuera

TOTAL ECLIPSE OF NESTOR LOPEZ by Adrianna Cuevas (signed)



To enter just follow the rafflecopter below, retweet/quote tweet this post, and follow @MixedUpFiles. U.S. entries only please!

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WNDMG — Author Interview and Book Giveaway

We Need Diverse MG
We Need Diverse MG

Artwork by Aixa Perez-Prado

I had the good fortune to talk about her award-winning book Lupe Wong Won’t Dance with kidlit author Donna Barba Higuera. She was just awarded a Pura Belpré honor and a Sid Fleischman award for humor!

Lupe Wong Won’t Dance

APP: Donna, can you tell me something about yourself and your journey as a kidlit writer? How did you get started?

DBH: I didn’t set out to write “kidlit” specifically. I’ve always written down the stories that entered my imagination. Mostly short stories. I decided to try writing a novel about nine years ago and knew I had a lot to learn. I found my critique group, The Papercuts ( ) They have become my second family; a strange, dysfunctional family, but I love them and so I’m keeping them. We meet weekly, so I get lots of writing practice.

It took many years and hit a few potholes, but I have an amazing agent, Allison Remcheck, with Stimola Literary Studio. Shortly after signing with Allison, I met my editor, Nick Thomas with Levine Querido. ( He was leading a first pages SCBWI round table. He read the first few hundred words of Lupe Wong Won’t Dance, and a few weeks later, the book was off to acquisitions. It sounds like a quick journey, but it was years of conferences, weekly critique, and about 5.5 novels to publication.

My husband always reminds me when people say I got lucky, “Luck is when perseverance meets opportunity.”

On the Merits (or not!) of Square Dancing

APP: You are so right, perseverance is something we can all use on this kidlit journey. Your main character, Lupe, certainly has the skill to persevere! Your story starts off with your Lup being horrified of square dancing in PE and doing everything she can to eliminate it. Why square dancing? I loved it when I was a kid, probably because I was no athlete and we actually got to touch each other. Plus there was music! But Lupe is dead set against it.

DBH: This comes up a lot! I think we have to consider that someone like yourself who probably hated basketball or baseball, there are just as many like Lupe who feel the same about dancing. But without giving spoilers, Lupe grows in her understanding and feelings on square dancing.

I’ve discovered people have strong opinions on square dancing one way or another. So many ask why Lupe is so set against dancing. Why not just do it? I have equally if not more people who express how much they hated square dancing. Or how it was just something that made them uncomfortable.

This book isn’t meant to criticize square dancing itself. But rather that feeling of being told you “have to do something” but not understanding entirely why.

 Pitching the Lupe Wong Won’t Dance Story

APP: Yes, I can totally relate to that and I’m sure that so many kids can as well! Can you tell me how you were able to pitch your story. What do you think caught the attention of an agent and/or editor?

DBH: Uggh! I am the worst at writing pitches. I had a really difficult time writing a query letter. I had several rejections state they weren’t interested in a book about square dancing or baseball. That was my fault for not pitching the book properly. Neither of those is what this book is about. It’s about friendship. It’s about speaking up about things that don’t feel fair, equitable or just. But also learning to determine what battles really matter. But I still don’t think any of those things are what caught my editor’s attention. Lupe has a very strong voice. Lupe doesn’t try to be funny. But it’s obvious from the first few pages that she has stuff to say.

Humor and Heart

APP: She certainly does! Lupe is a story that uses a lot of humor as well as heart, especially humor about the body, odors and changes that happen in middle grade. Did you get any pushback from editors about that?

DBH: No pushback at all. All those things you mentioned are very real to middle schoolers. Not all sensory details are ahem…pleasant. Not all bodily changes are embraced. Books need to feel genuine, especially to middle schoolers. Those smells and changes and feelings are real life to kids. Kids need to feel that as writers, we aren’t acting as gatekeepers to filter what they can or can’t read. My editor fully embraced all the awkwardness and difficulty of bodily changes in middle school.

APP: I know kids will totally relate to that. But Lupe isn’t the only one going through changes. I loved your secondary characters and how they grew in the novel, especially Gordon. His quirkiness was lovable. But after his makeover and amazing tooth repair, I felt distressed when he intentionally destroyed his flipper. Why did he do that? Couldn’t he have saved those teeth? I felt bad for his grandma!

DBH: I’m so glad you asked this question. No one has. This was something we discussed a lot. I pondered at length before deciding I had to include it. I was a kid with the double whammy of having a big gap between my front teeth in addition to a wedged chip on the right. I also had a speech issue when I was very young. I felt pressured by the dentist to fix my front teeth even though I was perfectly fine the way I was. I went to speech therapy.

 I know now, through Gordon, I was addressing my wounds. Gordon’s prosthetic tooth flipper was not his idea. Well-meaning adults thought they were doing him a favor. But what message did their unsolicited “improvements” to Gordon’s appearance or the way he spoke send? As I was as a child, he was perfectly fine the way he was. Kids have enough pressure to achieve what society envisions as perfection. I wanted to show a character who both loved himself and had friends who accepted him for who he was. I know the monetary value of the broken flipper might bug people. But I’d argue, there are costs to a child’s self-esteem that are far more valuable.

 Culture, Race & Identity

APP: No doubt about that. Your book is also about cultural identity, a subject that fascinates me. Lupe worries that her identity as a Chinese – Mexican is not recognized by society at large, and she demands to be recognized. Did that experience come from real life for you?

DBH: I think many of us who are mixed race have experienced this. I am Chicana and White. I was told from the time I was a young child to “choose one” bubble on the scantron. I am not a single bubble, nor are my children who are also Chinese. I am proud of all of who I am and I want my children to feel the same about all their races and cultures. Mark all your bubbles proudly kids!

We all have such different and varied experiences. No two are the same. I wanted to show a character, who like myself and daughters, lives in multiple cultural experienced. I hope kids reading will cherish and find pride in all of who they are. I hope they will never feel pressured to choose one part of themselves over another.

((Enjoying this WNDMG article? Read more from our WNDMG series here))

APP: I hope so too, and I think they will! But this book is also about parts of identity that can lead extremely challenging and painful experiences. How did you decide on the amount of racism or prejudice to include in the book? The lyrics that Lupe finds are so jarring that they end up changing a curriculum. Did you worry about making that too stressful for an MG?

DBH: This is such a tough question. Yes. I worried. Knowing I was writing for children made me very hesitant to include that. My own instincts are to protect others from harm. But I also know that seeing unpleasant and hurtful history is how we grow and learn to do better. And what better place to learn than through the safety of a book? Still I was extremely cautious about how I presented the information.

So, I did it through Lupe’s eyes. She discovers things any child could find with a simple internet search.

This is the article I found and imagined Lupe would have found. The book presents this information via Lupe and how she decides to handle it without showing the article itself. But I would like to warn you, the article is difficult to read and some of the content offensive:

Not Everyone Grows

APP: Thank you for sharing that, and thank you for having Lupe find that on her own in your book. I think many kids might do exactly what she did when they are looking into a topic and encounter information that can be extremely difficult to process. On another note, a lovely note, tell me about the stage scene with Lupe and her gym teacher. It really took me by surprise and moved me. How did you come up with that?

DBH: I don’t really know! I just wanted to show that adults have wounds too. Coach Solden (I chose her last name because I thought it sounded sad) had a square dancing wound. I wanted to show that sometimes we carry things that happen to us when we are young for a lifetime. Part of Coach Solden’s character arc was to heal that childhood wound. That scene made me so happy to write!

APP: I’m sure it did, it had so much heart and humanity and the way you wrote it made me picture it perfectly in my head. On the other hand what about those horrible girls that are so mean to Lupe? Do you think it is important to include characters in MG that can be horrible and who don’t change for the better?

DBH: Yes. That is real life. Not everyone grows. Not everyone learns to become a better person as they go through life. I think kids need to see they’re not alone. They need to see we all run into crumby personalities and mean people.

Listening to Kids

APP: Well, that certainly is true. Luckily Lupe has many caring, if at times bumbling adults in her life. I loved when she told the principal that her attempt at integrating cultures in the school via a celebration is, ‘a good start’.  That is so true and such a common way that schools deal with issues of diversity – celebrations rather than deep exploration of issues. Lupe is right to call it a ‘start’. Did you every worry that Lupe seemed more insightful and perceptive in many ways than the adults who surround her? Or is that just reflective of real life – kids know more than we do!

DBH: Kids are so much more insightful than we give them credit for. I think so many are just intimidated to give their opinions. Or perhaps feel no one is listening. My own children say such intelligent answers to life’s questions. Far more astute than what I may have been thinking. So yeah, I think kids know more than we do! Or maybe we just forgot.

APP: Yes, I agree, they are way ahead of us. That brings me to what kids are facing In today’s divisive and difficult environment. Lupe has a double whammy as both Latinx and Asian. Do you think that makes this story especially relevant and timely?

DBH: I didn’t mean for this book to be timely. I was just writing a story based on my daughter’s experience. But yes. I worry for my daughters with how divisive our country has been recently. But I’ve also raised my daughters to be proud of all of who they are. They know it’s okay to walk away from those who are unwilling to have empathy or kindness for others. They also know you can have differing opinions and still love others. But yes, Lupe’s biracial heritage and the issues of race in our country, especially recently, have made her story and struggles far more relevant.

Advice for Diverse Authors

APP: I think so too and I appreciate that Lupe Wong Won’t Dance is available for kids of all backgrounds to discover. Finally, do you have any word of advice for others who are aspiring kidlit authors from diverse backgrounds?

DBH: Don’t be afraid to write what you know. Don’t put your culture in parenthesis or italics. Meaning, don’t stop to explain or show it’s somehow different for the reader normal experience. Let the reader experience a culture they might not understand through your characters eyes. Giving readers a welcoming place that offers them the chance to understand a culture outside their own.

APP: Thank you so much for the wise words and your wonderful work.

DBH: Thank you and I’d love to give thanks and credit to those who’ve supported me and helped usher Lupe into the world: My agent and biggest cheerleader, Allison Remcheck at Stimola Literary Studio. My genius editor, Nick Thomas, at Levine Querido who is brilliant at finding the heart of the stories and characters and helping to give them a voice. I am also so appreciative of my critique group, The Papercuts and my own supportive family.

Donna is also the author of  picture book El Cucuy is Scared Too!

Book Giveaway

Donna has generously offered to send a copy of, Lupe Wong Won’t Dance to one lucky winner US only! Please like, retweet, and follow MUF for a chance to win.

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